This wonderful overview of the Airedale Terrier in the field (as a flushing/retrieving dog for upland birds and as a retriever of waterfowl) was prepared by The Airedale Terrier Club of America's (Hunting Working Airedales) Hunting/ Working Committee for submission to The American Kennel Club (AKC). The Proposal was prepared to request admission of Airedale Terriers to AKC Hunt Tests for Spaniels and for Retrievers; trailing and treeing of fur are not emphasized in the Proposal.
Although the Proposal was not approved by the AKC, that in no way detracts from the value of this document as an important history of the breed as a hunting companion. The Proposal clearly demonstrates the dedicated work of the Parent Club's Hunting/Working Committee beginning in the mid-1980s. Led by Committee Chair Steve Gilbert, these individuals have established an excellent Hunting Working AiredalesHunt Test program and have promoted the hunting abilities of Airedales throughout the world of Airedale fanciers.
As you read this, keep in mind that you are reading a "book without an ending." Even though the AKC did not accept this Proposal, it served as an impetus for discussions regarding a new AKC Hunt Test program for all breeds of dogs with the field versatility of the Airedale Terrier. These discussions between representatives of the AKC and the Hunting Working Airedalesare still ongoing. It is our hope that the "ending" of this book will be reached when an AKC Multi-Purpose Dog Hunt Test is in place and will allow Airedales to compete for official AKC suffix-titles. That "final chapter" will confirm the place of the Airedale Terrier as the prototype dog for all breeds developed to be all-round hunting companions to man.
Suzanne H. Hampton,
The Airedale Terrier Club of America, Inc.